If you want to convert more seller leads into listings, then remember: the money is in the follow-up!
That facts are that it takes at least 8-10 follow up contacts to convert a lead to a client. But the majority, 89%, of those in sales professions (including real estate agents) give up after a single follow-up.
Maybe you’re so busy with referral and repeat business that you haven’t had time to think about a follow-up strategy for all those valuable leads sitting untouched in your database.
Here are some proven ways to maximize the effectiveness of your follow-up and thus maximize your lead conversion:
Understand why follow-up so critical
Having a successful follow-up system is the key to staying top-of-mind with prospective home sellers—especially when dealing with FSBO/Expired sellers.
Remember, FSBO/Expired sellers want to sell. They’re motivated, but for a variety of reasons, they’re not ready at this moment. The good news is that if you make a point to nurture the relationship and build rapport, they’ll know you are the right one to work with once they are ready.
Nail the first conversation
Contact them by phone. At first, they may not even entertain the notion of you listing their property. But this is to be expected; after all, they don’t know you—nor do they trust you.
Think of the situation as a challenge and stay positive. Remember, getting the listing is not the goal of the initial phone call.
Your primary goal of the first call is to schedule an in-person discovery meeting.
Your secondary goal is to build rapport and understand their needs, goals, and behaviors. These actions will help you gain their trust and better position your service (it will also help you qualify them if need be). And even if they decide not to list right away, they may refer you to friends and family because of the trust you built.
If you can’t schedule the in-person discovery meeting in the initial call, don’t see this as a waste of your time. You’ve started a positive relationship and strengthened your brand, which will help build your reputation in the community as a trusted real estate agent.
These sellers crave trust. Expired leads are frustrated. They’re looking for answers to get their home sold. Showing them empathy and understanding is the best way to win them over. Don’t treat them like a lead; treat them like a friend you’re trying to help. This attitude will allow you to maintain a great reputation and generate more business.
There are two schools of thought on calling in advance to confirm appointments.
The first strategy is not for the easily frustrated. This approach includes NOT calling in advance once the lead has officially accepted and agreed to meet. The rationale is that calling ahead will just give the seller the opportunity to cancel. Instead, send a follow-up email that reminds them of the initial conversation and of all the effort you are putting in to prepare for the appointment. This reminder will help solidify their commitment to meeting you as planned.
A more common strategy is to call in advance to make sure the seller is going to be there. Your time is valuable, so it makes sense to try to reduce the chance of being stood up. Remind them of the initial phone conversation and ask if the scheduled day and time is still good for them. Just be aware that they may say no since you’ve given them the opening to do so.
In either case, before the meeting, send them an introductory (pre-listing) packet with information about you and what you bring to the table that can help them.
If they don’t show for the scheduled time, try your best not to get discouraged. Make sure you check in after the scheduled time to get an idea of why they couldn’t make it.
Whether or not you hear back, put them on a follow-up rotation system. Add them to an email drip campaign (always get the permission to do this at the end of your call) or your monthly real estate newsletter, if you have one.
Continue to contact them periodically until they tell you not to. Their lack of response does not necessarily indicate they won’t eventually list with you or even refer you to others.
Take action during and after the listing appointment?
Go in with a confident mindset. You’re providing a valuable service—and they need you.
Remember their motivations that they revealed in the initial call. Convey how your unique value, what sets you apart, and the strategies you bring to the table to sell their home are aligned with those motivations.
If you don’t get the listing then and there, keep in touch with the home seller until you’ve confirmed they’re working with another agent.
Try your best to figure out why they didn’t choose you. Then use that information to fine-tune your listing presentation for future listing appointments.
- Don’t be afraid to text if they aren’t answering or returning your calls. Sometimes people prefer texting over a phone conversation.
- Set a goal to make a set number of contacts a day and stick with it. These goals will ensure that following up with your leads becomes a habit.
- You’re usually not the reason why they aren’t answering your calls. The biggest reason why sellers don’t do business with an agent is simply timing. So stay positive.
The key to a great follow-up system is consistency. Make follow-up a habit, and you’ll be getting more business than you thought possible.